1. In 1 John 4:16, the apostle John declared that "God is love." 2. This was not the first time that John made this statement (see vs.8). 3. To know about God's love, we must study this letter very carefully. 4. In our lesson we are concentrating on 3 things that God does for His children because He is love. 5. The passages we are studying tie in the father-child relationship to illustrate why God does these things for His children.
I. FIRST, BECAUSE "GOD IS LOVE," HE SUPPLIES THE NEEDS OF HIS CHILDREN
A. Jesus dealt with this principle in Matthew 7:7-11. B. In these verses, Jesus showed that God answers the prayers of His children. C. He made this very clear in vs.7-8. 1. We are to: a. ask: to make a request of someone greater b. seek: to search for something in order to find it c. knock: to knock persistently in order to gain an entrance 2. If we ask, seek, and knock, Jesus said that God will give us what we ask, He will cause us to find what we seek, and He will open to us. 3. Jesus repeated this in vs.8. D. To illustrate His point, Jesus referred to the father-child relationship. 1. (vs.9) A father who loves and cares for his child will not give him a stone if he asks for bread. 2. (vs.10) A father who loves and cares for his child will not give him a snake if he asks for a fish. 3. (vs.11) Jesus used this reasoning to show that God will give that which is good to His children who make requests of Him.
II. SECOND, BECAUSE "GOD IS LOVE," HE DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN
A. This principle is addressed in Hebrews 12:5-11. B. This chapter begins with an exhortation to run the Christian race "with patience." C. (vs.2) As we run the Christian race we are to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. D. (vs.3) Remembering what Jesus endured will keep us from being weary or faint. E. This letter was written to Christians who were undergoing some type of affliction. F. It seems that this affliction was designed to have a chastening effect. G. These Christians who were being chastised needed to keep certain things in mind. 1. (vs.5-6) God chastens His children because He loves them. 2. (vs.7-8) To be God's true children, we must endure His chastening -- those who reject His chastening are not His true children. 3. (vs.11) Chastening is not enjoyable; however, it is designed to make us better. H. To illustrate this information, the writer referred to the father-child relationship. 1. (vs.9) Fathers who correct their children out of love deserve respect because they are concerned about the welfare of their children. 2. (vs.10) God chastens His children so we can be partakers of His holiness.
III. THIRD, BECAUSE "GOD IS LOVE," HE RECEIVES HIS WAYWARD CHILDREN WHO RETURN TO HIM
A. Jesus revealed this principle in Luke 15:20-24. B. In this parable, Jesus used the father-child relationship to illustrate how God feels when His rebellious children return to Him in humility. C. (1 John 1:9) "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
1. Many times, the Bible uses the father-child relationship to help us understand certain things about God. 2. Because "God is love,": a. He supplies the needs of His children as we ask, seek, and knock b. He disciplines His children c. He receives His wayward children who return to Him. 3. God has shown His love to us (1 John 3:1a; 3:16; 4:9). 4. God wants us to love Him (1 John 4:19; 5:3).